Rare Wildflower Starting to Bloom

Trout Lily in bloom, but life cycle won't last long

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    The signs of spring are starting to bloom.

    In Garland, the trout lily has started blooming, but it won't last very long.

    Rare Wildflower in Bloom in Garland

    [DFW] Rare Wildflower in Bloom in Garland
    In Garland the first of the rare Trout Lily wildflowers are in bloom, but it won't last long. (Published Friday, Feb. 24, 2012)

    Naturalist Tom Frey, who has been leading trout lily tours for the Preservation Society for the Spring Creek Forest Preserve for the last two decades, said the wildflower is not common in Texas. But it's typically the first to bloom in North Texas, he said.

    "With just 40 known sites, it's very unusual here," he said. "We're at the far western point of its global range, so we wouldn't expect to find them very south or west of here."

    Every year, Jayson Nichols comes to the Spring Creek Forest Preserve to see the unusual wildflower.

    "It's very cool to know that something in my backyard is so ... rare," Nichols said.

    The entire life cycle only lasts for 10 weeks. Naturalists said it started blooming early this year and will be dormant by mid-April. Its natural habitat is found in hardwood bottomland forests.

    "You're not going to find it here in your suburban lawns because the plant won't grow in the temperatures and soils where the plants aren't conducive to it," Frey said.

    Nichols said the flowers are unusual.

    "They look like something that should live in the rain forest," he said.

    The Preservation Society for the Spring Creek Forest will have free tours of the trout lily on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.